This video (duration of 42:10) talks about the Youth Leaving Care Hearings in Ontario, Canada:
- “Almost 17-thousand of Ontario’s 3.1 million children are in the care of Children’s Aid Societies.
- A youth-led group of former crown wards and foster children says the government could be doing a better job.
- What challenges do these young adults face while transitioning out of care?”
Please read Toronto Star’s excellent article “Ontario’s Youth Leaving Care hearings call for fundamental change to child welfare system“, which:
- presents a Toronto Star video “Wendy lucks out with foster family” interviewing Wendy for being lucky to have foster parents who treat her like a daughter
- discusses the Youth Leaving Care Report that was written by youth about their plight, based on legislative hearings last fall by youth from the child welfare system
- explains Ontario’s child welfare system needing fundamental change due to the following problems experienced by too many children in foster care and group homes:
- and abandonment
- calls on the province and others to work with children and yoth in care to:
- produce an action plan by November 2012
- make Ontario a better parent to roughly 8,300 children and youth in its care
- make their transition to adulthood more secure
- raise the age of financial and emotional support from 21 to 25
- allow youth to stay in foster care beyond age 18
- declare a “Youth in Care Day” to raise awareness and reduce stigma
- develop ongoing health and education plans for every child and youth in care
- collect and publish information on their experiences during and after they leave care
- and create an online clearing house of information and resources for them
On May 14, 2012, in response to the Youth Leaving Care Report, the Minister of Children and Youth Services gave the following statement:
“Earlier today, I was pleased to accept the report from the Youth Leaving Care Team – a courageous and talented group of young people committed to helping youth in care succeed when they leave the child welfare system.
I want to thank these youth, as well as the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, Irwin Elman, for their hard work.
The report that these youth have produced is without precedent. It is ground-breaking and it is brave. It draws from the real life and sometimes difficult experiences of current and former youth in the care of children’s aid societies.
During hearings held last fall at Queen’s Park, I heard loud and clear that youth in care feel left out of the decisions that affect them. They feel left out of their own lives. They need a stronger voice.
We owe these kids our sustained attention. But most of all, we owe them our respect. We owe them action.
That is why our government will begin working immediately to address their number one recommendation. I am directing my ministry to bring together a ministry working group as we move forward with improvements to the child welfare system. The working group will be made up of youth with experience living in care and partners from across the province – at both the government and children’s aid society levels.
I am also pleased that action is being taken on another recommendation in their report by my colleague, Teresa Piruzza, MPP for Windsor West, to designate the 14th of May each year as ‘Children and Youth in Care Day.’
I thank the Youth Leaving Care Team for their hard work and for their courage in making their voices heard. We know there is still more work to do. My ministry will carefully review each of the report’s recommendations to determine how we can further strengthen the child welfare system and help all children and youth in Ontario reach their full potential.”
Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Children and Youth Services
Please click here for info on supports for youth in and leaving care.
Ministry of Children and Youth Services
- Gabe De Roche
- Laura Sylvis
Ministry of Children and Youth Services
Youth Leaving Care Hearings Team
Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth
401 Bay Street, Suite 2200
Please contact the Hearings Team at:
Phone: (416) 325-5669 Toll-free: 1-800-263-2841
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